WASHINGTON - Home prices rose for a fourth straight month in most major U.S. cities in July on the strength of the peak buying season. But the housing market remains depressed, and prices are expected to decline in the coming months.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index shows home prices increased in July from June in 17 of the 20 cities tracked.
Over the past 12 months, prices fell in all but two cities - Detroit and Washington. Prices rose sharply in Minneapolis and Chicago. Prices in Las Vegas and Phoenix declined.
Housing is a key reason the economy has struggled more than two years after the recession officially ended. Home sales are on pace this year to be the worst since 1997.